Monday, May 13, 2019

Announcing grief : The place of strategic communication

What is Grief ?
Simply put, grief is the product of bad news or unfavorable experience. According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2012:1), " grief is a multi-faceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed." According to Geddes (1992:3), however, implies simultaneously some "some changes which comes in a variety of sizes and shapes and with varying degrees of intensity". It may be personal, professional, social or spiritual or all aspects of our life (sic) may be affected simultaneously. Consequently, when losses occur, we tend to redefine our selves in terms of the new world in which we find ourselves. This is why , Geddes view(1992:4), " Despite the type of loss (personal or professional) or the importance of the loss (essential or nonessential), change demand cognitive restructuring of a person's world". To the layman, grief is often taken as the equivalent of bereavement. This may appear so especially because the two concepts are very close, so close that the two words "grief and bereavement" are sometimes interchangeably used. But, in technical terms, bereavement is rather the state of sense of loss while grief is the reaction to that loss.

Communication provides a therapeutic catharsis. The application of communication concept in the verbalization of griefcan provide a set of labels and information which help the grieved person deal with his problems (Larson , Charles U,(1973)

It is customary in life to experience grief in one form or another and at one time or another. The fact is that, all too often, we seem not to realise the impact of communication when considering the array of support strategies available in such moments. This may be because grief, as well all know, is a product of intense and painful emotions, representing a moment of deep , mental anguish, a kind of temporary illness waiting to be healed, given the apparent breakdown of the victim's neural system.

Broading speaking, grief may be come in two ways. It can be directly experienced such as when witness the death of a loved one of have a bad dream. It may also be communicated to us e.g via the mass media ( radio, television, Newspaper) or by direct inter personal verbal contact, narrowly shielded, as occur in telephone conversation. It is a direct interpersonal communicative format that is our concern in this paper. There are five section to this work. They are as follow :

Definition of grief, Field of Grief, Typology of Grief Register, Setting of Announcement and Select Scenarios.

= Fields of Grief
Although there are several causes of grief, they have a common denominator: loss ( through death, separation, accident, ill-timed occurrences, unwanted or unexpected changed , hurt to self-esteem, etc) many social contexts provide occasion for grief in our community by examine some of the circumstances that lend them selves to the latter.

Typology of Grief Register

However large the number of the communicative tools may be, there is an underlying precepts: preferring the subtle to the stark, the convert to the plan, the gentle to the blunt in other words, what constitutes a golden rule to the successful management of Grief Announcement is attachment to subtle, solemn and serene language ( I.e language seen in its broadest sense) . it is from this perspective that we should see the following communicative tools .

= Non verbal
These include empathetic mien, collaborative gestures and such body language as is likely to represent shared catharsis. A subtle no-verbal communicative tool is known by its steady stages of introductory gesture to those movements that end up calming nerves, suspending outrage and setting the scene for announcing.

Gesture may simultaneously include verbal expression that tends to support the grief associated with the impeding announcing. It is not usual to hear, along with some gesture, such expression has "Are you the father of the baby", " it's good you are here", "you are alone; that's fine." We will talk more about the complimentary nature of verbal and non verbal communicative tools later.

= Verbal
Here, it is a question of choosing a combination of the following support strategies: proverb, wide sayings, Religious statement, litotes, suggestive ulterance, etc. Of course, some of these come with non verbal cues, that seek to reinforce the therapeutic intents of the message. Words, as we all know, are natural vehicle for driving home points, positive or negative. Used in one form they provide vehicle for driving home points balm and succor, used in another they literally produce toxic effects. When words are subtly used they tend to yield confort to the aggrieved, unlike the heightning of the tension that is stark language often produced.

= setting of Announcement
Not only it is useful to know how to communicate grief, the importance of where to communicate it cannot be gainsaid. Recall the principle of knowing the "culture" of the moment pointed out earlier. The right choice is usually dictated by amount of confidentiality that the place of announcement tends to offer. It is also a product of the security it guarantees, particularly for the announcer but not excluding the prospective'mourner'. The announcer is concerned about the amount of secrecy that the locale will provide. That is why the place of announcement should be in which there are no eavesdroppers. In an ideal situation, the event takes place in a schedule place with good dialog arrangement for both parties.

In other to ensure safety for both parties, the addresses hurting him self or hurting the announcer.

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